What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Vermont? Snow? Maple syrup? How about land conflicts and boundary changes? Those last two might not show up in travel brochures, but they are definitely important parts of Vermont.
The land that is now Vermont has been fought over by Native Americans, the British, and the French. Even after the French ceded the land to England, it was still up in the air over who controlled it: New York or New Hampshire. The colonial governors of both New York and New Hampshire granted land in present-day Vermont, which created a lot of confusion and slowed down migration into the area.
In 1777, Vermont’s petition to join the Union was rejected. Still desiring to be separate from Britain, Vermont declared itself an independent republic. Its constitution was the first in North America to abolish slavery, provide for public schools, and remove land ownership as a requirement for voting.
Vermont should be near and dear to the hearts of many genealogists, even those who don’t have ancestors from the Green Mountain State. Vermont is a leader in granite. For well over a century, Vermont quarries and stone carvers have been making tombstones and monuments for cemeteries around the world.
Our new free state guide, “Vermont Resources: Family History Sources in the Green Mountain State,” has an overview and timeline of the state, along with resources to explore when searching for your Vermont ancestors. Guides for other states are also available here.